Tassawouf and the importance of the Zikr (Remembering Allah)

As Salamou Aleykum Brothers and Sisters,
We start by praising Allah (Subhanahou wa ta’ ala) who allowed us to be part of this gathering.
May His peace and blessings be upon the Prophet (Sallallahu Aleyhi Wassalam) and all the Sahabas (Radiya’ Allahu Anhum).
May His peace and blessings be upon all the heros of Islam who came after them notably Cheikh Ahamdou Bamba who revived the Deen when it was lost in people’s heart.
We would like to welcome our beloved master Cheikh Ahmadou Mbacke Maoul Hayat. May Allah (ta’ala) give him a long life and a good health so he can continue his mission of spreading the true teachings of Islam around the world.
Today the topic is about Tassawouf and the importance of the Zikr (Remembering Allah).
These matters can be covered in a lot of depth but today we will just stick to some key points.
We learn from the Hadith of Gabriel (Aleyhi Salam) that our religion has 3 parts:
Iman – Islam and Ihsan.
With Iman the six pillars of faith are explained in details. These pillars are Belief in Allah, the Prophets, the Revealed Books, the Angels, the Day of Judgment and the Divine Decree.
The second part Islam covers the 5 pillars of the Deen i.e. the Shahada, the 5 Daily Prayers, the Fasting of the Month of Ramadan, Hajj and Zakat.
The third part is Ihsan and we learned from the Prophet (peace be upon Him) that it is “That you worship Allah as if you see Him, for if you don’t see Him then truly He sees you”.
 Ihsan deals with sincerity because even if you don’t see Allah being conscious of the fact that He sees you will prompt you to look into your inward and outward state.
By outward state I mean focusing on the sins that could be committed through our 5 senses. Being aware of the fact the Allah watches you will give you the strength to stay away from what is prohibited.
By Inward state I mean focusing on the sicknesses of the heart. Even if people around you are not aware of them know that Allah is aware of them. This again will help you realise the urgency to deal with them.
Therefore we can see that in a nutshell Iman is about Faith,
Islam is about the practice of the faith,
And Ihsan is about the Sincerity in Faith and Practice
There are 3 Islamic sciences that underpin these 3 parts. Tawhid deal with Faith, Fiqh deals with Islam and Tassawouf deals with Ihsan.
The aim of Tassawouf is to align our character with the character of the Prophet (peace be upon Him). This is central in Islam. Purifying our characters will not only save us in the hereafter but it will also allow us to have a peaceful life in this world.
Allah (Ta’ala) praised the Prophet (peace be upon Him) in the Quran for his good character.
The Prophet himself (peace be upon Him) said that He was sent to Perfect Good Manners.
We also know that Good Manners will be the heaviest thing on the Scale on the Day of Judgment.
Shaytan was destroyed because of a heart full of vices ego, arrogance, jealousy.
We learned from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that people with the best character will be the closest to him on the Day of Judgment.
We also learned from him that the best of us is the one who has the best character.
There are many more examples like this.
Good character is central to this deen and Tassawouf which is the science that specialises in it should not be neglected.
Tawhid has its specialists, Fiqh has its specialists. In the same way Tassawouf also has its specialists and they are the true heirs of the Prophet.
They have been blessed with the ability to lead their disciples through the journey of the purification of the heart.
Zikr or Remembrance of God is a key point of their teachings. It’s through Zikr that the mind, the heart and the soul become purified.
Doing Zikr under the guidance of these saints is much more effective and rapidly gives the expected results.
Zikr is the most beneficial act of devotion that the disciple can perform.
A lot more can be said about the benefit of the remembrance of God but given the timing of the event I thought I would at least give some elements of it.
Thank you and May Allah protect us all!
Allahouma Salli Alla Seyidinna Muhammad.
By Mame Cheikh Diagne